Current Mortgage Rates for February 2021

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What is a home loan rate?

A home loan rate is the rate of interest charged by a lender for mortgage financing. The interest rate is charged on the amount borrowed until the mortgage is paid off, usually over 30 years.

The mortgage rate is a reflection of how much risk a lender is taking. For example, people with higher credit scores get better home loan rates because the score shows they’ve managed other credit well, making them less likely to default on a home loan.

How often should you compare current home loan rates?

  • Tracking current home loan rates on a regular basis can help you save money in closing costs and interest over the life of a loan. Home loan rates today could be higher or lower tomorrow, and depending on the news of the day, they can spike or plummet hourly. 

Frequently checking the average mortgage rate when you are house hunting or planning a refinance could help you lock in your best terms if you’re buying or refinancing.

Are mortgage rates going up or down?

U.S. mortgage rates can fluctuate daily. Home loan rates are more directly influenced by the bond market and the housing market. Economic factors — inflation, unemployment or the actions of the Federal Reserve — can indirectly influence rates, too. As you check home loan rates more frequently, you’ll get a better sense of what direction they’re headed.

There is no federal mortgage rate, and mortgage rates don’t automatically go up or down when the Fed cuts or increases the federal funds rate. Mortgage rate predictions can shift if economic data changes or something unexpected happens: a trade war with another country, for example.

Read LendingTree’s Mortgage Rate Competition Index each week to find out how much money consumers are saving by comparing mortgage interest rates.

Compare mortgage rates in your state

Rates on home loans vary by region, state and even ZIP code. This can be due to a variety of factors including your local market, lender appetite for borrowers and regional demand for mortgage financing. For an in-depth analysis of current mortgage rates in your area, click on one of the links below to find mortgage rates local to your area.

Factors that impact home loan rates

Getting your best home loan rate depends on a number of variables. Each factor can increase the cost or percentage of the rate you pay.

Credit score:

Some of the best home loan rates on the market are typically offered to people with credit scores over 740, according to Fannie Mae. However, some loan programs have lower credit score requirements.

Occupancy type:

Occupancy type refers to what you’re using the home for — a primary residence, a second home or an investment property. Rates are the lowest for a home you plan to live in as your primary residence, because investors find most homeowners take extra measures to stay current on a mortgage tied to the roof over their head. If hard financial times hit, a second home or investment property mortgage may not be a high priority, and lenders charge a higher rate because of that risk.

Property type:

Multi-unit properties and manufactured homes come with higher interest rates than single-family homes because lenders consider them riskier. For example, the payment on a multi-unit property might become hard to make if tenants suddenly move out. Meanwhile, lenders tend to view manufactured homes as a bigger risk than site-built homes because they don’t meet the same stringent property standards. 

Loan type:

Home loan rates also depend on the type of loan you choose. While some shorter-term loans come with lower interest rates because you’re repaying the loan off more quickly, you must be able to afford the higher monthly payments. 

A fixed-rate mortgage offers a stable monthly payment for the life of the loan. While 30-year mortgage rates offer the lowest monthly payment, you’ll pay more in total interest over the life of the loan. That’s compared to a shorter, fixed-rate term, such as a 15-year fixed mortgage, that features a lower rate but higher monthly payment.

The rate on an ARM is lower for a temporary period of 1 month to 10 years, but can go up or down once the initial fixed-rate period ends. An ARM is a good option for people who plan to move before the payment adjusts.

Down payment:

Lenders also consider how much you are borrowing compared to your home’s value, a calculation known as “loan-to-value ratio” (LTV). The less you put down, the more risk lenders face if you default, so they charge a higher interest rate to mitigate potential losses. Below is the standard minimum down payment for the most common loan programs.

Minimum down payment by home loan type
Type of loan Minimum down payment
Conventional 3%
FHA 3.5% (580+ score)
10% (500 to 579 score)
VA 0%
Jumbo 10%

Loan program:

Different mortgage programs are available to fit a variety of credit, income and down payment needs. Here is a list of the most common mortgage programs and who they’re best for.
  1. Conventional mortgages: Conventional mortgages are not backed by any government agency, but are purchased by government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They’re a good choice if you have high credit scores and a stable income.
  2. FHA mortgages: Approved lenders offer FHA mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) with the best rates for credit scores down to 580, and easier qualifying guidelines than conventional loans. Government rates tend to be lower than conventional rates, although you need mortgage insurance regardless of your down payment. As a result, you could have a higher payment despite getting a lower rate.
  3. VA loans: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) guarantees VA loans for active duty and veteran military borrowers, and eligible spouses. There is no minimum credit score requirement, although most lenders will require at least a 620 score. VA rates tend to be lower than conventional rates.
  4. USDA loans: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers mortgage financing for low- to moderate-income borrowers with no money down to purchase homes in eligible areas. USDA-approved lenders require a minimum credit score of 640.
  5. Jumbo mortgages: If you need to borrow more than the conforming loan limit of $484,350 for most single-family homes in the U.S., a jumbo loan may be your best option. Depending on the lender, jumbo rates can be lower than conventional conforming rates. That’s primarily because approval guidelines are more stringent, with more documentation requirements and higher average credit scores that make the loans less risky for investors.

Tips to get your best home loan rate

Here are some winning strategies you can follow to ensure you get the most competitive home loan rate offers.

Know the programs you qualify for

Government loan programs may be your best option if you’ve got bumps in your credit history, or don’t have enough money for a down payment. Jumbo and conventional loans could be the best choices if you’ve got stellar credit and a solid income history.

Get rate quotes the same day

If you’re serious about shopping for your best mortgage, get all of your rate quotes on the same day. Rates change daily, so comparing quotes on the same day will give you the most up-to-date information to compare. Use a rate comparison tool to make it easier — you’ll have access to multiple lenders within minutes of entering your information.

Compare lender fees on your loan estimates

Look closely at the lender fees, such as origination, discount fee, credit report and appraisal fee, when you’re comparing loan costs. If there are fees you don’t understand or seem unusually high compared to other lenders, try to negotiate them.

Consider factors besides the interest rate

Your best home loan may not be the one with the lowest rate. A faster closing or a smoother transaction with a loan officer or mortgage broker who walks you through the process might be more important to you than pricing.

Get your lock confirmation in writing

Once you find the rate and loan officer you’re comfortable with, ask for a written mortgage rate lock confirmation. Most lenders will automatically send you a loan estimate confirming your lock by email, but be sure to request it in writing if you haven’t received confirmation within a day or two of your lock request.

Additional resources

Mortgage Payment Calculator

See how much your monthly mortgage payment will be, including taxes, insurance and PMI.

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Mortgage Payment Calculator

Home Affordability Calculator

Calculate how much home you can afford based on your income, expenses, down payment and credit score.

Calculate Affordability

Home Affordability Calculator

Refinance Calculator

Use this calculator to figure out when you can expect to break even on your mortgage refinance loan.

Calculate Savings

Refinance Calculator

Mortgage Refinance Rates

Compare current, customized mortgage refinance rates from our top-rated lenders.

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Mortgage Refinance Rates

FHA Loan Rates

View our FHA loan rate table to see current, up-to-date interest rates by our top-rated FHA lenders.

Compare FHA Loan Rates

FHA Loan Rates

VA Loan Rates

Comparison shop VA loans which offer some of the most competitive loan rates available today.

Compare VA Loan Rates

VA Loan Rates